Any adult who has been in a car accident understands what a stressful event this is, especially when serious injuries or death result from the accident. But when children are victims of car accidents, the trauma (both physical and psychological) can be devastating and long lasting, much more so than adults typically.
The small bodies of children are more prone to serious injury in car collisions, and their underdeveloped minds have more trouble grasping the horror of a car accident than adults. Young victims of car accidents may have nightmares, may be fearful of automobiles, may refuse to get into cars, and may become withdrawn and frightened of everyday activities.
Every state and Washington, D.C. has specific requirements for securing children in automobiles. As a parent or guardian, it’s your responsibility to know the laws in your state and follow them each and every time you put a child in your vehicle. Child safety seats and restraints are based on age and weight, and the directions are very clear as to what car seat or restraint is most appropriate for the child or children you are securing in your vehicle.
Car Accidents Involving Children Statistics
According to a report by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), even though deaths of children 12 years of age and younger in motor vehicle collisions have declined in the last four decades, car crashes still cause one out of every four unintentional injury deaths in this age group. The IIHS also reports that restraining children in rear seats instead of front seats reduces fatal injury risk by about three-quarters for children up to the age of three and by almost half for kids age four to eight.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death among children in the United States, but many of these deaths can be prevented by properly securing children in car seats and other types of restraints that are age and size appropriate.
The CDC reports:
- 723 children ages 12 years and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes during 2016 in the U.S.
- More than 128,000 children ages 12 years and younger were injured in car accidents in 2016
- In 2016, more than 618,000 children ages 0-12 rode in vehicles without the use of a child safety seat or booster seat or a seat belt at least some of the time (except numbers are not available because most parents will not admit to how often they allowed their children to ride with no safety seat or restraint)
- 35% of the children 12 years and younger who died in a crash in 2016 were not properly restrained in the vehicles involved in the car accident
If someone’s negligence has caused you to lose a child or has left your child with serious injuries that may take weeks, months, or years to recover from, please contact the attorneys at Wood Law Firm today. We handle complex car accident cases. There is no cost for an initial consultation, and you may find out you’re entitled to monetary compensation for the medical expenses you’ve incurred as a result of the car accident that injured or killed your child.